Taungurung Traditional Owner Mick Harding has become the first Aboriginal person in history to address the Victorian Cabinet.
Mr Harding is Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group and, together with the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins, presented an update to Cabinet on the work towards a Treaty with Victoria’s Traditional Owners.
The Andrews Labor Government recognises self-determination is an essential component of reconciliation and is working towards a treaty with Victoria’s Aboriginal community.
Following 18 months of consultation, the Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group will now facilitate an assembly to design the representative body for Aboriginal Victorians.
Once it is formed, constituted and then recognised by the Victorian Government, negotiation of a treaty can commence.
This Labor government has provided the financial support necessary to make this happen and take action to recognise the representative body once it is formed.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins
“The Andrews Labor Government is working towards treaty with Aboriginal Victorians because true reconciliation with the nation’s first peoples is essential if we are to close the gap.”
“Self-determination is underpinning our approach, it’s about putting Aboriginal Victorians at the heart of the decision making processes of Government and Mick’s attendance at Cabinet is a small expression of that.”
Quotes attributable to the Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Interim Treaty Working group Mick Harding
“It was a great honour to be the first Aboriginal person to address the Victorian Cabinet and provide an update on the Victorian treaty process and what it means to my people.”
“Aa Aa Yuwang-ngal-in marram nganjin budambun-djerring, which means in Taungurung language that Aboriginal Victorians and the Government need an agreement together that is reciprocal.”